Assembling Log-Style Sauna
The sauna we put in our log cabin is a pre-fabricated unit that only took us about 90 minutes to put together. It's 80" x 80" which is large enough for 6 people to sit or 3 people to recline.
We built the sauna right over our tile floor because the heat rises, so the floor will stay cool.
Building Base and Walls
The wood pieces that came in the kit were 2-inch thick Nordic White Spruce. They're notched at the corners to lock together like the logs in our log cabin, so they call them "logs."
The first step was to lay out the base logs and level them. If your floor is a little off level you can shim the frame to level it out. The base logs are unique because they have these notches which we used to tie all the logs together.
The logs for the walls were all pre-cut at the factory. They gave us long ones for the back and side walls, and shorter ones for around the door opening of the front wall. They had tongue-and-groove edges for a snug fit. The grooves go down and tongues go up.
After the third round of wall logs were up, we installed threaded stabilizing rods in the holes of the logs. Then the rest of the logs slid down over the rods.
In the fifth round, we put in a log that has three holes for a vent. This sauna has two vents total for good ventilation.
The top of the door opening was capped off with a full length log. From there we continued to the tops of the walls which were 79 inches high. The last logs were planned flat on top. This type of sauna kit is designed to fit under most existing ceilings.
With the walls done, we tightened the nuts down over the top and bottom of the threaded rods. This draws the logs together and secures them firmly. There is some settling that occurs, so we'll re-tighten the screws after 4 to 6 weeks.
The ceiling comes in two pre-built pieces.
To support the ceiling, we screwed cove molding into the logs 2-3/4 inches below the top. These should be level with one another.
We secured a strip of insulating tape over the top of the molding, then slid the two ceiling pieces down over the molding. The center edges of the two pieces interlocked together as they folded down.
Benches, Door and Heater
The African Abachi benches slid in over supports that were secured to the walls.
The upper bench came in two pieces which were bolted together to form an L-shaped surface. We secured the backrest above the top bench with screws.
The sauna came with a 6 kilowatt electric heater which we hung from brackets next to the door. Some heaters have separate control panels, but ours has the controls mounted right on it. We had our electrician connect the 240 volt, 25 amp sevice that the heater required.
This kit comes with rocks that we stacked inside the unit to radiate sauna heat. There was also a guard rail which was secured around the heater to keep people from touching it.
The door jamb rests on the sill and was secured by nailing the exterior casing into the logs. Then we nailed the interior casing over the door. That completed our sauna installation.